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How to Use a Chinese Abacus:

A Computer-Based Tutorial
© 1996 Jan G. Hogle

User Instructions

What This Program is...
An abacus is a great way to make abstract math concepts more concrete. This package includes a software-based tutorial to illustrate the basic use of an abacus. The tutorial presents a brief introduction, and illustrates with graphics, text and animation how to represent numbers and how to add with an abacus. A practice area is available after the instruction to practice the concepts presented.

This tutorial exists as a shocked program to be used on the Web, or as standalone programs for the Mac or Windows.

This program is shareware, but not the kind you may be used to. If you use it, please let me know by postcard, email or other correspondence. Please share with me how you are using it (for example, as an individual or in a classroom, or...?). Please also share how well the program has worked for you, and any suggestions or problems. If you want to send me money for it, you can send $5 or whatever you think its worth (grad students don't earn much, you know). Please send correspondence to, or to 351 Hollow Ridge Dr., Athens, Georgia, 30607, USA.

Installing the Software
You can run the Abacus tutorial from the floppy disk, but this is not recommended. The program animation will run smoother if you transfer the files from the floppy to your hard drive. You may then keep the floppy disk as a backup copy. If you don't have a hard drive you can run the program from the disk, but you should make a copy of it so that you will have a backup in the event the disk becomes damaged.

Quick Start:
If you are familiar with the Macintosh, all you need to do is copy the contents of the Abacus program disk to your hard drive. Double-click on "Abacus Tutorial" in the Abacus folder on your hard drive to start the program.

Detailed Installation Instructions
To install the program on your hard drive, insert the Abacus program disk into the disk drive. If the Abacus disk icon doesn't show up on your finder screen, you may have a damaged disk. Please contact BCC for assistance. The address for BCC is given at the end of this file.

Drag the Abacus disk icon to your hard drive icon. This allows the contents of the program disk to be copied to your hard drive into a folder called Abacus. Eject the Abacus program disk and put it in a safe place away from magnets and magnetic fields.

Open the Abacus folder by double-clicking on its folder icon. You should see 4 icons available in the window:
Abacus Tutorial
Read Me Abacus
Make a Simple Abacus
Abacus DA

Double click on the Read Me Abacus icon to read about the latest changes or notes regarding the package.

Double click on the Abacus Tutorial icon to start the program.

How To Proceed Through The Program
When the program opens, you may page through the title screens to get to the Main Menu, or go to the Main Menu directly by using the pull-down "Go To" menu at the top of the screen.

The Main Menu
There are 5 areas of the tutorial to explore from the Main Menu:
How to Make a Simple Abacus
Representing Numbers

The Main Menu allows you to go to any of the 5 sections of the tutorial by clicking on the title of the area you wish to explore. You can also use the pull-down "Go To" menu from any screen.

If this is your first time using the program, you should start with the Introduction and How to Make a Simple Abacus. After reviewing these two sections, you will be better able to follow the instructions in the other sections.

It would be helpful to have a real abacus to use for the Addition section, and a real abacus is essential for the addition portion of the Practice section.

Title Bar Menus, and Keyboard Equivalents
Title bar menus are available at the top of the screen. They are useful for moving around in the program, for quitting the program, getting more information, or to print.

Quit Q

Help H or ?
About This Program G
About the Chinese Characters K

Go To
Main Menu M
Introduction I
How to Make a Simple Abacus S
Representing Numbers R
Addition A
Practice T

Print Screen P
Print Make a Simple Abacus

Other Keyboard Equivalents
On pages where there is a Next or Previous button....
To page left: left arrow, p, or P may be used
To page right: right arrow, n, or N may be used

How To Get More Information
For further information on this project, to report problems, or make suggestions regarding this tutorial, please contact:

BC Communications
351 Hollow Ridge Dr.
Athens, GA 30607

Original file name: ReadMeAb.txt - converted on Tuesday, 27 June 2000, 01:20

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